Attention is the hottest Marketing topic in 2020, and it symbolises a return to focusing on people. From virtual Cannes fireside-chats to Zoom conferences and white papers, everybody talks about the Attention Economy. How Attention will save the murky digital ecosystem or how much better our marketer lives will be when we will focus on Attention as a trading KPI. I am guilty of preaching this too. Yet, in hindsight, there is little new about the concept of Attention. It has always been the first response every marketer desired, ever since Don Draper worked on Lucky Strike. The only novel insight is that Attention to advertising is seriously fading, and that’s bad. And we love talking about future apocalyptic crises (climate change anyone?).
I am aware your Attention to reading this post is fading word by word. We no longer focus on anything and skip from one thing to another. Some estimates put between 4.000 and 5.000 the number of brand messages an average American sees in a single day. Hard to believe, but just while I am writing this sentence, I can see the following brand logos: Logi, Dell, Apple, Sonos and Philips and that’s without even changing my field of vision. But how many brands or messages get noticed? We successfully trained ourselves to ignore, most of what we read or see. How can we expect someone to pay Attention to our advertising? We know Attention is scarce, and that’s why it becomes fascinating to explore – sort of like climate change. We have very few clues about why some ideas or messages spark Attention; we are masters at losing Attention.
I believe in focusing on Attention because, for the first time in years, we enjoy talking about consumers behaviour. The hot topic is not technology (like Voice or AR), a platform (like TikTok or Snap) or a format (Stories or Lenses). We are debating about People behaviours, listening to how they react and how can we adapt our media and content strategies to their needs. That’s fresh, and that’s why I am bullish on Attention.